Detroit strip club defends "dwarf toss" event

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 17:58:57-05

A Detroit strip club that became the center of a social media firestorm for advertising a “dwarf toss” contest is defending itself.

Speaking exclusively to 7 Action News Friday, marketing manager for Katzman Enterprises, R. Agostino, said the event is a crowd-pleaser held at the Toy Chest on Ford Road about three times a year.

The event is held at the Toy Chest and the Leopard’s Lounge in Windsor, both clubs owned by Rob Katzman.

“It’s certainly a different form of entertainment. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but neither is our core business,” Agostino said.

Agostino said the club hired a professional little person dubbed “Mighty Mike” for Friday’s event. He will be wearing a harness and spectators will toss him onto air mattresses for the bragging rights of who can throw him the farthest. Agostino said Mighty Mike is a celebrity in his own right who tours the country for such events and has also appeared in films and music videos.

“Nobody’s being forced into doing this. Nobody’s being forced into throwing him, nobody’s being forced into walking in and watching it, and nobody’s being forced to fly,” Agostino said.

Officials with Little People of America have decried the event, and an online petition trying to stop “dwarf toss” events at the club has already garnered more than 3,400 signatures.

“We have worked so hard for such a long time making sure people don't see little people as objects, that we're people first, little second,” said Denise Wood with the Motor City chapter of the nonprofit.

Amid the controversy, the Toy Chest is expecting a large crowd Friday, some to protest what they call a disrespectful spectacle, and others to watch the event and meet the man organizers contend is a celebrity in his own right.

The event starts at 8 p.m. and there is a cover charge of $10.